Apsara Theatre Company

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Apsara Theatre Company



Mission Statement[edit]

Apsara Theatre Company is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create multicultural and intercultural theatre that is inclusive and meaningful in order to build bridges of dialogue amongst Canada’s diverse population. The creation process is focused on exploration, creativity and playfulness, using all the possibilities that the language of theatre has to offer. Its young artists wish to create theatre that is socially, politically and culturally relevant.

The Beginning[edit]

This project started in late 2007, when Chantria Tram had been going through some tough personal circumstances, questioning her relationship with her parents, her culture and her upbringing, while at the same time trying to find her place as an “ethnic” actress in the theatre circle. The need to speak about her experience as a Cambodian woman growing up in Canada has been germinating within her ever since she moved away from her parents and the Cambodian community, and finally found its outlet in writing. The project quickly defined itself as a semi-biographical one-woman show.

Before starting work on the preliminary text, Chantria Tram invited Mike Czuba, a playwright, to help her with the dramaturgy, and Milena Buziak, a young director, to stage the first reading of the play. The first version of the text, part of the Art Matters Festival, was seen at Theatre Ste. Catherine in March 2008 as a staged reading, performed by the author. The response was overwhelming. Chantria’s singular experience took on universal tones through the sharing of the text. It was an inspiring example of how cultural diversity can be used as a tool of exchange and communication, a way to recognise a common human experience within each individual. Chantria Tram and Milena Buziak decided to form a theatre company that would accommodate new works of theatre which would reflect the present Canadian reality, and Apsara Theatre Company was born.

In June 2008, the two women organized The Launch, a fundraiser and launching of Apsara Theatre Company, with performances from different Montreal artists and a silent auction of donated art. It allowed them to collect part of the funds for the Company’s first production, Someone Between.